Let us strive together to increase our taqwa to Allah s.w.t. Obey all of His commands and abstain from His prohibitions. May we become a better Muslim than we were yesterday.
We are still in the blessed month of Rabiulawal, the month that was graced by the birth of our beloved messenger, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Hence, it is fitting for us to continue to be grateful to Allah s.w.t. for making us among the ummah of Rasulullah s.a.w. - the most noble of all the Prophets. The ummah that has been bestowed with many blessings simply because of Rasulullah’s noble standing in the sight of Allah s.w.t.
Our gratitude to Allah s.w.t. for this gift should not just be expressed with words, supplications and praises. A true servant of Allah and an ummah that is truly grateful will reflect upon and understand the main objective for which Allah s.w.t. sent Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Let’s begin this reflection by understanding the objective as explained in the Quran. For example, Allah s.w.t. says in surah At-Taubah verse 128:
“There has certainly come to you a Messenger
from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.”
Allah s.w.t. also says in surah Al-Maidah verse 15 and 16:
“There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book. By which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darknesses into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path.”
Allah says in surah Al-Anbiya’ verse 107:
“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.”
These verses explain that Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was sent as a light to guide us on the path of safety and bring happiness to all aspects of life. In fact, Rasulullah’s entire life is an example of it. If we study the sirah or history of the Prophet s.a.w. we will find that every aspect of his life was filled with lessons and guidance for us, from the Prophet himself. It encompasses his relationship with the Creator, his relationships with other people including his family, followers, neighbours, companions, those who were hostile toward him, and even with the environment.
Allah s.w.t. mentions in Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 21:
“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.”
Thus, we have to truly understand and reflect upon the values taught to us by Rasulullah s.a.w., and how they can be applied in our daily lives.
For example, it was reported that Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said in a hadith:
“My Lord has commanded me nine qualities: Fear of God in private and in public; to be Just, whether in anger or in calmness; Moderation in both poverty and affluence; That I should join hands with those who break away from me; And give to those who deprive me; And forgive those who wrong me; And that my silence should be meditation; And my words remembrance of God; And my vision a keen observation.”
[Hadith reported by Imam Al-Tabrizi in the book Misykat Al-Masabih]
These qualities taught by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. will only bring about lasting benefits to one. These qualities can help a person overcome differences and disputes. In fact, these qualities taught by Rasulullah s.a.w. will increase our standing in the sight of Allah s.w.t., as well as in the eyes of other humankind. These values are relevant perpetually, and withstand the test of time- applicable in any era whether we interact with others in person or online, through skype or other social media platforms.
Remember jemaah, the platforms and mediums of communication will always change, in line with advancements in technology. It will be more sophisticated offering instant communication. But what remains the same is the users, which are humans, us. Therefore it cannot be void of the values of humanity. And so, we truly need to embody the ethical values displayed by our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
These values will help to develop good moral and strong spirituality, thus building our resilience to face a challenging and rapidly changing world. The aim is to develop a Muslim community with a strong belief (aqidah), noble character (akhlak), educated and knowledgeable, true to principles, are good neighbours, tolerant, confident of diverse views and opinions, and always contributing positively toward community and nation building. InshaAllah, in 2016, the mimbar will discuss values taught in Islam and demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., and we will start with forgiving others.
May this sermon revive our spirit to enliven noble Islamic values in our lives. And hopefully by doing so, our beliefs are manifested, our good deeds and service highlighted and our standing raised in the sight of Allah s.w.t. and other humankind.
Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
01 January 2016 / 20 Rabiulawal 1437